Gender Conflict

Why I say no to coffee dates

After escaping a tedious 12 year relationship (don’t ask!), I have been thrust into the world of online dating…and so far, it has been a huge disappointment. Now, I consider myself to be an attractive woman; I am intelligent and I have a great personality. Thus, I was confident that I’d find an eligible partner within a year.

Boy was I wrong. Within the past year and a half, I have only been on two dates.

“What went wrong?” you may ask.

The coffee date.

I have a natural aversion to coffee dates. As soon as a man says the dreaded words, “Wanna grab a coffee sometime?” My heart sinks and any attraction that I may have felt for him instantly disappears.

“What’s wrong with a coffee date?” you may ask.

I don’t know. There is something about it that just doesn’t sit right with me. I have had debates with friends and have read many blogs about embracing the coffee date but I just can’t.

There are many convincing arguments for accepting coffee dates:

  • You don’t have to dress up too much.
  • It can be used as a quick pre-date that enables you to assess whether he’s a jerk, a serial killer or a serious contender for a real date.
  • It’s an informal setting, so there is less pressure.
  • It’s cheap and cheerful.


Now this is great and all but I have a few rebuttals:

  • I want to dress to impress; that’s part of the fun of the first date!
  • I would expect to have had a few phone conversations before the first date that would indicate whether he is a jerk or serial killer.
  • I want the pressure of being forced to bring our A-game. If we can’t do that on the first date, when can we do it?
  • Finally, I don’t necessarily want a cheap and cheerful first date. It doesn’t have to be super expensive but expensive enough for me to see that he’s put in some financial investment. If he’s flat broke, then he absolutely shouldn’t be dating.


Does that make me a bitch? Men seem to think so.

When (politely) declining a coffee date and stating my reasons for doing so, I have been cursed out, called a Gold-digger and blocked. But to be frank, if asking for more than a coffee date is considered Gold-digging, then he clearly hasn’t got much gold to dig! In my opinion, a man that has a hissy fit over spending money on you does not value you or your time.

It has been argued that there are women out there who waste men’s time and go on dates purely for the expensive restaurants. That’s unfortunate. However, it’s not productive for men to waste their energy being hypervigilant about being scammed. Again, if a few dollars or pounds can break the bank, don’t date! Stay at home and play with your Xbox.

An easy way for men to lower the risk of feeling scammed is to remember that he is paying for the pleasure of being in her company. Men fail to realise that paying for a date does not include an all-inclusive pass to her bedroom or boyfriend status; he is simply paying for her time. The pass is only redeemable for the duration of the date.

However, society is outraged when a woman requires reimbursement for her time. It has even been compared to prostitution! How dramatic. Women are shamed into giving free emotional and physical labour. The last man who asked me on a coffee date did not account for the £10 travel expenses, the inconvenience of travelling on a Sunday when the trains are less frequent and the time it would take to arrive at the location – just for coffee! I think not. I wouldn’t even do that with my friends.

There is something to be said about pre-date culture – it promotes quantity over quality. It highlights the ‘fast food’ sector of dating that I don’t want to be part of. I want to meet a man who sees my worth and is willing to invest time, energy and money to get to know me. I value a man who actually asks me what I would like to do. Again, if he does not put his best foot forward in the initial stages of the relationship, when will he put in the effort?

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